Witches Brew Tours guide groups through a variety of tours that showcase angles of the haunts and mysteries of the French Quarter, where spirits, witches, voodoo, and vampires dwell. Fully licensed guides tell tales of vengeful ghosts and the history of Marie Laveau, the Queen of Voodoo. Guests can participate in walking or mule-drawn-carriage tours through the city’s winding streets or the maze of mausoleums at St. Louis Cemetery No. 1.
Since 1984, Shreveport has paid tribute to a cherished Louisiana tradition—the crawfish boil—with its annual Mudbug Madness Festival. As many as 56,000 people flock each day to what has blossomed into one of the state’s most popular Cajun festivals, where they nosh on succulent seafood and compete in crawfish-eating contests that encourage participants to test their stomach size and sabotage their opponents by sneaking lobsters into their bowls. “One year, we had a man eat 42 pounds of crawfish in 30 minutes,” marvels festival coordinator Melanie. “We’ve cut it down to 15 minutes since then.” In addition to eating crustaceans, attendees can also lure them across the stage during crawdad-calling contests. “It gets really lively,” Melanie says, describing how the sirens-in-training are allowed to do nearly anything they can think of to entice the crawfish into their reach.
Cajun, zydeco, and jazz tunes waft through the air during the festivities, emanating from three stages helmed by headliners such as Wayne Toups, Rockin’ Dopsie, Jr., Super Water Sympathy, and Windstorm. The rhythms reach the ears of shoppers browsing original artwork and handmade jewelry in the arts area, expanded after previous years' success. On Thursday, local athletes can work up an appetite in the 5K race. Children of all ages burn off energy in the kids' area, where they can somersault in the bounce house, tackle art projects, or plop down in front of a stage where magicians and storytellers keep their young minds off the uncertain fate of lollipop futures.
At Metro Bowl, 40 slick lanes, state-of-the-art equipment, and flavorful concessions sate pin-busting cravings within a newly renovated interior. Monitors track and display scores as bowlers compete against friends, family, or time-displaced future selves. Large pizzas from the concession stand fill the air with tantilizing scents, and arcade games entertain players in between sets. Given the alley’s high volume of food, fun, and heavy objects, it’s no wonder that the space often attracts big name athletes, including former LSU football player and Indianapolis Colt Joseph Addai.
Tiki Tubing furnishes relaxing and refreshing excursions down the waters of the Amite River, providing a respite from the Louisiana summer swelter. In kayaks or single or double inner tubes, patrons recline as the gentle current whisks them downstream like a frog perched atop a school of loyal tadpoles. Tiki Tubing also rents out flotation devices designed to keep coolers afloat, allowing adventurers to sip from cool beverages as they soak up the sun.
Gators and Friends Alligator Park and Exotic Zoo invites all ages to watch gators wrestle each other in the water and chomp down their meals. The zoo was established in 2006 to raise awareness about the habits and survival techniques of wild animals, giving visitors a better understanding of all creatures, from alligators to pet hamsters to the turtles who fight crime from the sewers. The facility doesn't just contain reptiles, either; it also keeps kangaroos, capybaras, goats, and a Scottish cow.